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Posts Tagged ‘fishing’

I showed up at Tim Schulte’s farm to turkey hunt and go jug fishing. Unfortunately, neither the turkeys nor the catfish were aware of the weekend’s game plan. Mother Nature was also on the side of the animals because it rained just about the entire weekend.

I got to the farm late Thursday night. I figured it would be better to get there late and sleep in till 4:45 a.m. than get up at 3 a.m. and head to the farm. As usual, I slept well. Tim and Ben Cole showed up just after 5 a.m. and we headed into the woods. They headed to the back of the farm while I went to the field and sat in the ground blind (that would eventually provide great cover from the rain).

I have been hunting at the Schulte farm since 1993. Spring turkey season always provides great hunts with lots of gobbling by the toms. Unfortunately, this year was different. I did not hear one gobble all weekend. Tim and Ben heard some in the distance, but none was close to the farm.

I did get to see dogs chase four deer about 35 yards from my blind. There is nothing more relaxing than having two dogs start barking and howling at the exact time the turkeys should start flying down from their roost. We have had problems with these dogs in the past and this weekend was no different. They noisily made their way through the neighbor’s farm and eventually to Tim’s farm. I actually spotted the small dog twice. I sure hope those dogs don’t get hit by a passing car or truck.

After the barking and chasing dog episode, I spotted another deer that emerged from the cedar patch across from me. The deer went to the creek for a drink and then headed back into the woods to eventually pop back out into the field exactly in the same spot where the other four deer emerged about a half hour earlier. He/she eventually made his/her way around the edge of the field and out of site.

It wasn’t’ long after the deer left that it started raining. My plan to hunt in the pop-up blind was finally paying off. Tim and Ben headed to the back of the farm…and they “got their panties wet”! While I did not see any turkeys, I did see deer and stayed dry. The guys emerged from the woods about an hour after the rain started, and they picked me up and we headed back to the cabin for a quick high ball and a nap.

Jug Fishing

Turkey season closes every day in Missouri at one o’clock p.m. That leaves the rest of the day to do what ever we want. The activity of choice this year was jug fishing on the Missouri and Gasconade Rivers. I have never jug fished for catfish before, but it has always interested me.

Catfishing usually includes a stout rod and reel with heavy line and heavy sinkers followed by lots of snags and fighting a strong current and really, really stinky bait. Jug fishing is different. The “sport” consists of a jug (two coffee cans soldered together, a half of a “noodle” float, an old duck decoy or even an empty paint can), a heavy line, a weight and a hook.

The line is tied to one side of the jug so the jug stands on end when a fish takes the bait that hangs anywhere from 1 ft. to 4 feet below the jug.

The basic technique for jug fishing is this:

  • Put a hot dog on the hook
  • Place the jug in the water
  • Repeat 15 times with the remaining jugs
  • Move the boat above, below or to the side of the jugs
  • Watch the jugs and drink beer.

That’s about it.

It is definitely not a physically demanding sport, but it does get interesting when a jug gets hung up in a wing or trail dike that is located just below the surface of the rising river. Releasing the jug takes some pretty savvy boat maneuvering.

We fished for about three hours each day, and we only caught one channel catfish that weighed about three pounds. The great news is that it rained on us both days…and we got our panties wet…again. Here is a great photo (from my Blackberry) of the back of my truck to show how much rain fell from Thursday night through Saturday afternoon. It’s basically a poor man’s rain gauge.

Poor Man's Rain Gauge

Poor Man's Rain Gauge

We had some great food and even better company. Nick Zagarri, Zach Cole, Ben, Tim and I had a fantastic weekend and are going to miss the cabin until late September when bow hunting season starts.

Watching the Rain...Waiting for Dinner

Nick Zagarri cooking wings and Tim Schulte watching the rain from the front porch of the deer cabin.

I sure hope those dogs don’t get hit by a truck while we are gone.

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I had the pleasure to fish the annual Lazy Acres Fishing Tournament on Bull Shoals Lake over the weekend. There were 18 boats entered into the tournament and more than half brought in limits of largemouth, smallmouth and Kentucky bass.

Lazy Acres is located on the south side of Buck Creek near mid lake. I fished with Tom Visconti and we caught more than 40 bass during the eight-hour event.

Lazy Acres Annual Bass Tournament

Boats Getting Ready for the 6:45 a.m. Take Off from the south point of Buck Creek.

The top-water bite was on as was the lizard bite. We spent most of our time in Big Creek (Big Cedar Creek) and East Sugar Camp.

The fish were sitting on the outside of the buck brush and were holding tight to it. If the fish did not hit within the first 10 feet past the brush, then we picked up and started over.

Top-Water Baits:

  • Zara Spook Jr. (Color: white pearl)
  • Chug Bug (Color: black back with silver sides)

Lizards

  • Zoom 8” (Color: Green Pumpkin) Texas rigged

There were also reports of a lot of fish being caught on Zoom Flukes (White Pearl) on #3 Gamagatsu hooks thrown just in front of the buck brush.

It was an exciting day with one of the best weigh-ins the tournament has ever seen. Everyone caught fish. The team that won the tournament fished in the Big Buck Creek and Trimble Creek areas…as did the second- and third-place teams.

The top three places all had between 14 and 15.75 lbs…which is a decent weigh-in total.

Did anyone else duplicate this pattern? Did you find a different pattern? If so, let me know because I’m heading back down in two weeks.

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My wife and I loaded the kids in the truck and spend the weekend in Hermann, Missouri with our friends, Tim and Michelle Schulte. They were celebrating their youngest daughter’s birthday on Saturday and invited family and friends to help celebrate.

Tim and Michelle live on 50 acres just outside of Hermann, and they have a nice lake behind their house that is stocked with bass, bluegill and catfish. Below are some photos of the event. The weather was fantastic as was the company was even better.

Uncle Tim Helping Everyone

Brenna and her Big Fish

Colin Waiting Patiently

Colin Still Determined

Casting Pro

My Wife Enjoying the Day

Brenna on the Dock

We had a great time on Saturday and are looking forward to moving to this wonderful town in mid Missouri.

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Two Nice Fish

We had a decent Easter weekend on Bull Shoals and fished on Friday and Saturday. Friday was the better of the two days. We only fished for three hours on Saturday with one fish.

Temperature was in the lower 80s all day Friday with wind at 30 mph. While wind is generally good, I would have liked a little less of it.

Water temps. ranged from upper 40s to mid 60s depending how far we went back in the creeks.

A cold front was scheduled to push through around 4 p.m., and it arrived on schedule. The skies clouded up and the temperature dropped about 10 degrees in one gust. We fished for about 30 minutes past the temp. drop and then headed back to the dock. We caught the biggest fish of the day just as the front was pushing through – a 2.5 lb. Kentucky bass.

Since the wind was so strong, we fished mostly jerkbaits and spinnerbaits. We found a few banks that were protected enough from the wind that allowed us to try jigs, but only one fish was caught bouncing the bottom.

We boated nine fish and with two keepers. We did have one 16” walleye.

Below are photos of some of the lures used and the fish caught. Some of the fish were from a few days prior to me arriving and were caught by my father-in-law.

Easter Weekend on Bull Shoals

Easter Weekend on Bull Shoals

4.25 lb. Largemouth

Jerkbaits and Chompers

Jig and Craw

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I was watching the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament in the California Delta on ESPN2 a few weeks ago. They were highlighting Mike Iaconelli on the opening morning of the tournament. When Mike got to his first bank, someone who was not in the tournament was already there fishing. Mike started to talk to the guys in the boat. Their conversation went something like this (I’m paraphrasing):

Ike – “How’s it going?”

Other Boat – “Fine.”

Ike – “Are you guys tournament fishing?”

Other Boat – “Nope…Aren’t you Mike Iaconelli?”

Ike – “Yes – I’ve been fishing this bank for four days.”

Other Boat – *silent*

Ike – “Can I go ahead and jump in front of you?”

Other Boat – *silent*

Mike then went ahead and started fishing in front of these guys because he thought that, since he was fishing a tournament, he was somehow more important and more deserving to fish that particular bank at that time.

I have seen this many times, especially on Lake of the Ozarks (LOZ) in Missouri. LOZ is pounded by both recreational and tournament fisherman on a daily basis. I have had MANY boats cut in on me on many occasions, and it infuriates me when it happens.

I wish I could have been the guy in the “other boat” from the conversation above. If so, the conversation would have gone something like this:

Ike – “I’ve been fishing this bank for four days.”

Me – “You must have done pretty good to fish it for four days…what were you catching them on?”

Ike – “I’m fishing a tournament, can I jump in front of you?”

Me – “No…I worked all week and this is the only time I get to fish for the next three weeks. You have fished for four days straight. I was here first and you can jump in behind me if you like, but please don’t crowd me because I’m getting some great fish.”

Ike – *kicks breaks his rear running light and throws it in the water while screaming,* “But I’m Mike Iaconelli…Elite Series Tournament Pro.”

Me – “Never give up, Mike…never give up.”

I feel etiquette should dictate that a boater, if he/she is going to fish a bank that is already occupied by someone else, should jump in BEHIND the existing boat. Most tournament rules require that a distance of 50 yards should separate boaters, but it says nothing about which side of an existing boat is acceptable (to my knowledge).

It seems that tournament fisherman think that, since there is money on the line, they somehow get bank priority over recreational fisherman. Fishermen weigh many factors when developing a “game plan” for a tournament…even for just a day of recreational fishing. Wind, temperature, barometric pressure, channel location, water color, cloudy vs. clear skies, etc. all factor how and where you should fish. In my mind, having other boaters on the water is simply another factor you have to weigh to determine fishing location.

Do I want to fish a bank that has been pounded for three weeks straight? Probably not. I would get out but not an obvious place for fisherman to find. If I get to a bank, and it already has someone on it, my first response is, “I should have hit this bank first and I could have had it to myself.” If I absolutely HAD to fish that bank, I would hop over to a nearby bank and wait until that fisherman was done and THEN go to the bank.

Maybe I am wrong and am reading too much into this. How many of you have been fishing on a bank and had a boat jump in front of you? I would love to know your thoughts on this.

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The following post was written by my oldest child, Brenna (8 years). She has been watching me post on blog now for a few months, and wrote the following text on her own. I have not changed a word.

“You know,  fun is in all the things you love doing , but fishing and  hunting  are different.  Hunting is about game on get up and going!  Fishing is about getting out on the water and having fun. My dad is a hunter  and a fisherman. My name is Brenna , and I love fishing and hunting!       

On to fishing.   When I was littler me and my family bought some  minnows to fish with. I really didn’t want to fish at that time.  So instead I got the minnow bucket ,  stuck my hand inside, and pulled out a handful of minnows. After that I fished for a while and used the rest of the time playing with Minnows.  Speaking of, I was down in Florida on Destin beach. Then I went down to the water looking for shells and crabs. I ended up sticking my net in the water and coming up with a net full of minnows. So I spent the rest of the day minnow fishing.   That’s my story and tell all your comrades who like fishing or hunting to check out FOR THE FISHERMAN  at  WordPress.com.   Bye!”

Brenna Jones

From the Mind of a Child

  Written by the daughter of a very proud father…

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Have you ever purchased a new suspending jerkbait only to find out that on your first retrieve, it swims badly to the right, left or does loop-de-loops all the way back to the boat? A lot of people would simply cut the lure off and put it into the abyss that is a tackle box…never to be touched again.

There is a simple way to tune your jerkbait (or any crankbait) so you don’t lose any time chasing big bass in the Spring.

Tips to Correctly Tune Your Jerkbait or Crankbait

  • Take a pair of needle-nose pliers and place it horizontally in line with the bait while you pinch the eyelet on the nose of the bait.
  • Roll your wrist in the OPPOSITE direction of the way the bait is swimming.
  • The adjustment should be done in very small increments
  • Throw the bait out a few yards and retrieve. If the bait still swims incorrectly, repeat the process until the bait swims straight. If the bait over corrects, then roll your wrist in the opposite direction until the bait swims correctly.
  • Click HERE to watch a video on tuning your baits.

If want to invest a few dollars, there are tools on the market designed specifically for tuning baits. These are basically small metal rods with a slit in the end…just big enough to insert the eyelet of the bait. Simply follow the steps above using the tuning tool instead of needle-nose pliers. They can be purchased on-line or at your local fishing tackle store.

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